Jammu, May 11: Former Member Parliament Dr Karan Singh on Wednesday condoled the demise of Indian music composer and Santoor player Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma.
In a statement issued here today, the former Member Parliament said, “With the passing of Shiv Kumar Sharma we have lost one of the major musical figures of our times. He was not only a great performer but he gave a new instrument to classical Hindustani music - the Santoor. This is an old Kashmiri instrument but Shivkumar's genius lay in improving and expanding it so as to make it fit for use in our classical music.”
“On a personal note, Shiv Kumar was the son of my music teacher in Jammu Pandit Uma Dutt Sharma, who was also a Pujari (priest) in one of our temples. He used to accompany his father to my residence when he was a boy and to begin with he became an extremely accomplished Tabla player. It was to play the Tabla that I had first sent him to Mumbai to participate in the annual music festival there. Later he switched to Santoor and the rest, as they say, is history,” former MP said.
“I am glad that his son Rahul and other Santoor players are carrying on with the tradition introduced by Shiv Kumar. His duets with Ustad Zakir Hussain, who was also from Jammu, were a joy,” Dr Karan Singh said.
Meanwhile, paying his glowing tributes to Santoor maestro, J&K Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) executive member Raman Suri today said that to honour the son of the soil who took Santoor to world level, the Institute of Music and Fine Arts (IMFA) Jammu should be renamed as Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma Institute of Music and Fine Arts.
Requesting the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to do so, Suri stated that this would be a great tribute to the son of the soil who not only made Jammu and Kashmir blink on the international map of music but also made Dogras and Dogri language proud.
“The institute teaches music and renaming it after Santoor maestro will encourage students and make them know more about this legend, who also gave music to many Hindi films,” Suri said. He said that with his demise a void emerged in the world of music and Jammu, where his ancestral home was situated in the Mubarak Mandi area, suffered a huge loss.
Suri recalled that Shivji started his journey into the music world with the guidance of his legendary father Uma Dutt Sharma, who was his first teacher and introduced him to music at the age of five and used to take him to radio stations with him.
“The person, who started his professional career by performing at Jammu and Sanatan Dharm Natak Samaj went on to become one of the finest Santoor players in the world and also gave music to films like Silsila, Lamhe and Chandni. He was the first musician who took Jammu and Kashmir’s instrument Santoor to world level and left the audience spellbound by his scintillating performances. Jammu used to live in his heart. He ensured to play at least one Dogri song while performing world over, which reflected his love for his mother tongue and motherland,” Suri reminisced.